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Toeing in and a Monitor in Between

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by desmortum, May 3, 2019.
  1. desmortum
    Greetings, community.

    I know my set up is weird but hear me out. The question is about my iMac possibly interfering with speakers that are toed in.

    So here's the thing. I don't have much space. My listening position is at my 1.5m long desk. My speakers are Monitor Audio Bronze 2. And until recently they were firing straight causing blurry soundstage. I toed them in directly to listening position. Improvements all over the board. But! As you can see I cannot align speakers with my iMac due to shelf on top. So they are somewhat behind it.

    So question is, looking at pictures attached, will computer cut a lot of sound and cause some sort of reflections or whatever? I don't hear problems right now but I don't know what to look for.

  2. desmortum
    Sorry, files are missing from initial post for some reason
    . xJW9A81VQhm5H9yZR7mSgA.jpg o5duZfzRTMW9leABJaHwaQ.jpg
  3. ev13wt
    You really only need to toe in if you speaker beams at certain frequencies, like a 12" woofer cut at 1500Hz in a big two way :)

    Remove those boards from above the speakers. You built a speaker in a, well, speaker enclosure :) Then, move them forward and backwards from the wall until the bass is what you like. THEN try the tow in again.
    desmortum likes this.
  4. desmortum
    Thanks. But if could remove what's on top I'd already done it. But speaking of my question, can computer be an issue there?
  5. bigshot
    You also have the speakers towed in too much. You only want to point them inward enough for the dispersion to create a solid phantom center. You don't want to aim them at your ears. With all that stuff stacked up on top, I wouldn't worry about things like that though. It's interesting that you ask about a small problem when you've got a big obvious problem.
    Last edited: May 3, 2019
    ev13wt and TronII like this.
  6. desmortum
    Thanks. Well, some people say you should tow in to point to your ears, some people say you should not. I personally think it sounds a lot better aimed directly to listening position doe to much better stereo image, but I might experiment more. But that wasn't the question. I wanted to hear about the possible negative effects of computer there. Also, I would appreciate if you can explain why things stacked on speakers is a big problem.
  7. bigshot
    The reason not to toe in too much is the same as the reason not to cram a speaker into a tight space. Your speakers don't emit sound like a laser beam straight at you. They put out sound in different directions- to the sides, above, even behind. This creates a sound field around the speaker that makes it sound bigger and prevents the speaker from joining with the wall behind it. Walls close to a speaker act as acoustical mirrors muddling up the sound. Speakers always sound best when they are freestanding so the sound field around each speaker isn't blocked. When a speaker is freestanding like that, the soundstage is evenly dispersed across the plane of sound in front of you. It makes the sound location and sound stage clearer.
    desmortum likes this.
  8. gregorio
    If it were me, I'd bring the speakers a little closer to you, more inline with your iMac, not have them as widely spaced and slightly less toed in.

    desmortum likes this.
  9. theveterans
    Just a suggestion: if you put some isopucks or a speaker foam to isolate the speaker vibration, the midbass will sound tighter and more textured instead of muddy.
  10. gregorio
    That depends, many/most nearfield monitors and desktop speakers already have some amount of isolation built into the feet, as they are obviously intended to be placed on a surface/desktop. A much bigger problem (and cause of a muddy bass) is typically due to reflections, the back of speaker being too close to a wall for example.

  11. 71 dB
    Toeing in speakers so that they are directed to your ears is the starting point. Based on in which direction you want to change the sound you toe in more or less. Looking at the picture by desmortum, there is plenty of room for improvement:

    Height: Looks like the speakers are too low and treble tweeters are not on the same level as ears (10 cm / 4" too low maybe?). The toeing in thing works better, when the level is correct OR the speakers are tilted so that the tweeters are directed to ear level.

    Distance from wall behind: Affects the bass bump. The closer the wall the higher in frequency the bump goes. Placed against the wall behind the lowest "out of phase" dip is at about 300 Hz and one foot from the wall moves the lowest "out of phase" dip at about 150 Hz. One way to deal with the wall reflection is to put the speakers against the wall (or very close) and if possible, shelf-cut bass below about 200 Hz by 4-5 dB. However, what your room does at bass may call for another solution. It's alwayd good to tests different speaker placements and find the optimal spots where the combiation of speaker charasteristics, room acoustics and placement of speakers and listener work well together.

    Table reflection: The surfice will cause reflection of sound. Tilting the speakers up helps a little bit as does putting absorbent material on the table in front of the speakers.

    The iMac: Since it's "flat" screen, it will merely diffract high frequencies (above 2 kHz maybe). Frankly what you have on top of the speakers are propably a bigger problem. Speakers don't want stuff on top of them, esperially anything large and also this "clever" shelf set-up makes it impossible to tilt speakers up and limits a lot where the speakers can be. If you care about sound quality, you find the best possible places and positions for your speakers/listening position and then you put other stuff where you can. That's just how it is.
    desmortum likes this.
  12. desmortum
    Thanks, everyone. It seems new furniture design is in order.
  13. 71 dB
    You're welcome. New furniture design/solution is certainly worth considering.
  14. Steve999
    Send us a pic! And maybe don’t put your turntable on top of your receiver! :wink:
  15. gregorio
    That's may very well be the best solution but if I were you, before jumping into that radical solution, try just bringing the speakers closer towards you, inline with your imac screen and a little less toed-in. With acoustics, what should work in theory doesn't necessarily work as intended in practice, because we don't know accurately enough all the variables and sometimes small differences in some of variables can result in big differences in what we perceive/hear. For example, what exactly is the freq response of your speakers, the dispersion pattern of those freq ranges, the resonance/cab design, etc? It's possible that simply moving the speakers closer to you (further from the rear wall and less under the shelf) will provide a significant improvement and a new furniture design wouldn't provide much of an improvement over that. It's also possible that moving your speakers closer would make no appreciable difference or even be worse than it is now but for the few minutes and tiny effort involved, it's certainly worth trying first.


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